A Palm plant that is too tall for a 10 foot ceiling.


I do realize that I should give the plant to somebody with a taller space – but who? It’s in a large pot, facing west light, indoors, was thriving, but now has shock since I cut off some of the leaves up top…. could it grow around a corner safely… as bamboo does? Or should I try and give it to someone with a huge lobby?

Any advice is greatly appreciated… these plants started off as 2 foot palms from Metro and Walmart… I have three in total – the other two are behind in growth…

Thank you,


Hello Palm Gardener,

Single-stemmed palms cannot tolerate pruning at the top. In their natural environments, palms grow at a rate, and height, specific to their species, but benefit from judicious pruning of only the lower browned, dry, branches that are damaged, or shed by the plant. Likewise, if you cut a palm tree in half, it will not produce new growth from the stem. So your description of ‘shock’ from leaf-topping is likely correct. Whether or not your palm will grow around a corner at this time is uncertain.

You mention that the tallest palm is in a ‘large’ pot: if you had maintained a smaller-size pot, the truth is that your palms will likely NOT have grown to ceiling-height. Potting medium, nutrients and water can all be replenished, and you have a good light source, while the pot size should be maintained to control plant height. (Please note, for your two other palms.) Nonetheless, over several years you must have enjoyed watching your palms thrive, and grow: this is, after all, one of the many pleasures of gardening. But in your case, with three palms now in need of space, perhaps, as you suggest, donations are the answer. Kenny Rogers is renowned for singing the country classic,” You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold them, know when to walk away…”,  words that are at times the best advice for gardeners.

Here is a link you may find useful https://www.thespruce.com/grow-indoor-palm-trees-1902902